My favorite part of parenting is watching my children grow into wonderful adults. I have three adult children and I am very proud of each of them.
As it is with many families, the three brothers chose different career paths. Their paths also differ from my career choice. I was the engineering type that loved working with ones and zeroes. I never met a protocol that I didn’t like.
The possible exception might be my middle son, Evan (@eprokop1). While he didn’t go the computer science route like I did, as the digital marketing manager for TopRank (an online marketing company), Evan deals with the results of my work with ones and zeroes. He assists companies with their web and social media strategies. He works with some very large enterprises to help them increase their web viewership and to create a positive image across a variety of social media platforms.
Something that Evan and I strongly share is our love of words. Like me, Evan is an avid blogger and writes extensively about his industry. He was recently at a social media conference in San Diego, California and wrote this article for his company’s blog.
Now, you might wonder what social media has to do with unified communications (UC), but I will venture to say, “a lot.” If you think about it, at the core of social media is the idea of getting a message across to your audience. Those audiences vary depending on the particular platform. As an individual, it might be your Facebook and Instagram friends and followers. As a professional, it could be your LinkedIn connections. Businesses use those same tools, but they are more more concerned with likes and shared interests than actual friendships. The point is that these are places where we express words, images, moving pictures, etc. in the hope of getting a reaction.
The goal of UC is to allow the user to get his or her message across to an audience. It might be a one-on-one phone call or it might involve a large number of people in a multimedia conference. The message might be text, video, human speech, images, documentation, etc. Sound familiar?
In his blog article, Evan writes about social media business objectives in three different ways.
- Sales – content that generates revenue
- Savings – content that saves money
- Sunshine – content that makes your customers feel good
Aren’t those the same goals of unified communications? As a business owner, I would not invest in any UC solution that did not meet those requirements. I need to make my employees more productive which in turn will lead to higher revenues and profits. We live in hard times where every dollar spent needs to be scrutinized. I need higher profits and I need to lower my cost of doing business. Lastly, I want my customers, both internal and external, to feel good about any UC technology that gets deployed. My employees must want to use it and my customers must need to feel that it is an improvement over what I had before.
I addressed the changing face of UC in my article, Will the Real Unified Communications Please Stand Up. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter may not be manufactured by traditional communications companies such as Avaya or Unify, but they are UC tools nonetheless. This blurring of the lines makes it imperative that UC and social media strategies align. A company that silos these technologies runs the risk of missing the major benefits of either one.
The millennial generation will continue to redefine the workplace. People like my 27-year-old son, Evan, see the writing on the wall and are embracing the brave new world where these many forms of communications are converging. These are the technologies that are driving the new workforce and customer base. Ignore them at your peril.